What's New: Trump Administration

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Last week, President Trump reached a deal with Congress to provide a short-term, 3-month budget extension.

Good or bad news for horses? The answer is neither. The final votes to allow or stop slaughter are now delayed until early-December.

This delay does NOT mean we can let up between now and then. The Administration is still pushing for a policy of mass slaughter of America’s wild horses. The appropriations debates in Congress are ongoing. Given the House bill’s inclusion of horse slaughter language, it is absolutely critical that the Senate produce a bill that protects horses from mass killing and slaughter.  Then we’ll have a fighting chance of prevailing when the House and Senate negotiate final spending legislation.

The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee could vote on the Interior spending bill as early as next week. So NOW is the time to contact your Senators to weigh in to protect wild horses and burros!

Tell them to OPPOSE any 2018 spending legislation that would allow for the killing or sale for slaughter of healthy wild horses and burros. 

Then click here to follow up your call with an email your U.S. Senators.

Let’s keep up the pressure. Our petition has more than 300,000 signatures, and today we’re delivering it to Senator Dean Heller’s office in Las Vegas. We’re placing stories in publications across the country, and our team is in Washington D.C. meeting with legislators. You can support us right now by following up your call with an email to your Senators.

Keep it up!

-Suzanne Roy

P.S. We’re now also facing the reality of a longer campaign. Our hope is to sustain the same size and intensity of our campaign through the December votes. Your donations are needed to help us do it. Please contribute now.

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This summer we stop slaughter


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Friend –

With Congress going home for its August recess and the legislative future on horse slaughter still unclear, we asked you what our movement should do this month: sit tight OR keep up the pressure. Your response was clear: give them hell. Make it clear the American people will not stand for the destruction or slaughter of America’s wild horses.

So today we’re launching our #NoRecessForHorses Summer of Action. In the next three weeks, we’ll be visiting congressional offices, holding local events, activating supporters, putting up billboards, and, in short, making ourselves very, very loud.

To kick things off:

Click here and sign our national petition to Members of Congress: we oppose the destruction and slaughter of America’s healthy wild horse population.

We need every signature we can get. We’ll be hand-delivering the petition to key congressional offices, inviting the press and our local supporters to join.

Our opponents would love nothing more than if this issue stays quiet. They’ve seen the polling — they know 80% of Americans oppose horse slaughter. They want to confuse the issue, rename the word “slaughter” to something else, and hope we sit on the sidelines as they try to pass this terrible, cruel policy.

We won’t let them. Make sure you sign the petition now, then forward it to five friends! Thank you for standing for standing with us.

For the horses,

Suzanne Roy

P.S. After signing, forward this email to five friends and click here to share on Facebook.

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Congress Continues to Promote Land Access




The following is from the American Horse Council:

On July 26, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced the “Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (RNR)” (S. 1633, H.R. 3400), legislation that expands the scope of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (PL 114-245), signed into law in late 2016.  While the RNR focuses on streamlined permitting to access public lands, the bill includes provisions that would authorize the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to enter into cooperative agreements with private parties to promote the role of volunteers in trail maintenance.  The bill also authorizes the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and BLM to develop an interagency trail management plan that will assure uniform maintenance standards for trails crossing jurisdictional lines between the two agencies.

The Trails Act outlines a detailed program including goals and timetables by which the USDA will leverage private partners to clear trails long overdue for maintenance.  Unlike the RNR Act, which applies to both the BLM and USDA’s National Forest System (NFS), the Trails Act focuses only on trails under the jurisdiction of the NFS.

Chairman Bishop and Sen. Wyden worked closely on the bill to emphasize key issues – especially outdoor recreation permit streamlining – that will likely attract bipartisan support.  GOP staff with the House Natural Resources Committee, which is the committee of jurisdiction for federal land issues, are encouraging AHC and allies to help drive cosponsors for the legislation, which currently has none.  Committee staff also state that the Subcommittee on Federal Lands will conduct a markup in late September or October, giving members the opportunity to offer technical corrections and amendments to the text.

To review a summary of the legislation, please see the following link: https://www.wyden.senate.gov/download/?id=DDF411A6-5D21-40BD-B17C-2BF73A2B9C51&download=1. If you would like more information about the RNR Act and related lobbying activity, please contact Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.orgor 202-296-4031.

Read on AHC Website

Passage of Equine Therapy Amendment Includes Increased Support for America’s Veterans




The following is from the American Horse Council:

Prior to adjourning for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the “Make America Secure Appropriations Act” (H.R. 3219) offered by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), a bill that will increase equine therapy funding for veterans by $5 million during FY2018.  In a statement released Friday, July 28, Congressman Barr expressed his pleasure over passage of the defense spending legislation.  He stated that he is “particularly pleased that the final bill … expands the availability of evidence-based equine treatment for veterans who have suffered trauma while serving our country.”

Before the equine therapy provision becomes law, House and Senate lawmakers must convene a “conference” to negotiate final legislation for a vote in both chambers, and present the bill to the President for his signature.  Because the House will not return to Washington until September 5, Congress will not be able to negotiate a final bill until the fall. Although the Senate currently plans to remain in session through August 11, their agenda remains uncertain.  Following failure of healthcare legislation last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has identified Federal Drug Administration (FDA) funding, Department of Defense (DOD) authorization legislation, and federal appointments as priorities for the next two weeks.  Congress must pass final spending bills, or a continuing resolution, prior to the end of the current fiscal year on September 30.

To view a copy of Rep. Barr’s statement related to the equine therapy amendment, please see the following link: https://barr.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/barr-votes-to-enhance-national-security. If you would like more information about this bill or related issues in Congress, please contact Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.orgor 202-296-4031.

Read on AHC Website

Stop this madness


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently requested that the 2018 budget lift the ban on destroying healthy mustangs and burros. If the ban is lifted, all horses and burros in holding facilities will be killed or sold for slaughter. And most of the remaining wild horse population will be slaughtered, possibly even through aerial gunning in the wild. 

Here’s the bottom line: 92,000 healthy horses will die if this ban is lifted.

It’s time to fight back against this senseless slaughter. Thousands of you have already made your voices heard. Now, we’re launching a new campaign: #NoHorseSlaughter. But we need your help to spread the word.

Will you contribute today to help us stop the slaughter?

We’re going to take our message to every member of Congress and make sure they know what’s at stake. We can’t let the BLM undertake an unprecedented mass slaughter of our nation’s healthy wild horses and burros.

Congress is likely to decide the future of our nation’s iconic wild horse population in the next two weeks, which means these next few days will be critical. We’re going to take the fight to them — both in their districts when their on recess and back on Capitol Hill. With your help, we’re going to make sure they know that America is standing up for #NoHorseSlaughter.

Please help us stop this madness now.


AHC’s National Issues Forum Provides Different Perspectives




The following is from the American Horse Council:

The American Horse Council (AHC) National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health, on June 12th provided a wealth of information and ideas from different perspectives on how we can grow the industry and continue to work together. Attendees were treated to insights ranging from cutting-edge research to help our equine athletes, to how we can encourage the next generation to get involved, as well as how tradition, continuity, and innovation can work together for the benefit of the industry in moving forward.

The Morning Session kicked off with keynote speaker Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association who spoke about several initiatives the travel industry has undertaken the past few years to increase tourism and travel within and to the United States. For example, a Visa Waiver Program that allows residents of allied countries to be pre-screened before entry and are given visa-free travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days. Most notably though, was the creation of a Global Meetings Industry Day that showcases the impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.

“Staying focused, finding things you can work on together, and speaking with one voice are critical to ensuring the success and longevity of any industry,” Mr. Dow closed with.

To read the recap of the National Issues Forum in its entirety, please click below.

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Slaughter 100,000 wild horses?


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Here’s what we know:

1) The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2018 budget asks Congress to lift a ban on destroying healthy mustangs and burros.

2) If the ban is lifted, wild horses and burros in holding facilities will be killed or sold to slaughter. The remaining “excess” population will be slaughtered, possibly gunned-down in the wild. Up to 92,000 healthy horses will die.

3) The Congressional markup to decide if this slaughter provision is included will happen in the next two weeks.

We have two weeks to stop the mass slaughter of America’s wild horses. Will you contact your member of Congress right now and tell them #NoHorseSlaughter?

If this sounds like the worst-case-scenario for our cause, it is. If Congress accepts the BLM’s budget provision, we would see an unprecedented mass slaughter of healthy horses and burros. It would lead to horses being slaughtered for human consumption. It would destroy our nation’s icons of freedom. It would be a tragedy.

We’re kicking off the first of two weeks of action to stop this nightmare from becoming reality. Today, we need you to contact your member of Congress.

In the next two weeks, our leaders must hear us loud and clear: #NoHorseSlaughter. No way.

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Extra H2B Visas to be Made Available




The following is from the American Horse Council:

There have been reports this week that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to offer extra H2B visas for temporary, seasonal workers. These visas are used for temporary, non-agriculture workers at a variety of businesses, including members of the horse industry; principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.

The government offers 66,000 such visas a year, with the 2017 cap having been met within the first 30 days of open enrollment. This left many organizations without access to the critical labor pool provided by the H-2B program. Trainers at racetracks around the country have reported difficulties in filling staff positions.

The extra visas will be available to employers that show they’d be significantly harmed if they aren’t able to temporarily hire foreign workers. DHS hasn’t decided how many visas will be offered but that number should be set soon. The department expects to start issuing visas as soon as late July.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.

Read on AHC Website

Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

WHAT’S HAPPENING: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is scheduled to testify before the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee this Wednesday, June 21. He will defend his Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which asks Congress to lift the ban on destroying healthy wild horses and burros and selling these cherished animals for slaughter.

WHY YOU SHOULD ACT: The Senators on this subcommittee play a key role in determining whether as many as 92,000 wild horses and burros will be slaughtered and their wild populations reduced to near-extinction levels.

WHAT TO SAY:  Call your Senator, or subcommittee leadership, if your Senator is not included on the list below. Suggested message: “My name is _____ calling from _____.  Please ask Senator  _____  to strongly oppose the BLM’s budget request to lift the ban on killing healthy horses and burros and selling these animals ‘without restriction,’ which would lead to the brutal slaughter of thousands. Please require the BLM to use humane birth control, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, not killing to manage our wild horses and burros.” 


ALASKA RESIDENTS: Call Senator Lisa Murkowski, 202-224-6665. Follow up with a personal message: CLICK HERE

CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: Call Senator Dianne Feinstein, 202-224-3841. If this is busy call her office in San Francisco (415-393-0707) or Los Angeles (310-914-7300). Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE.

MARYLAND RESIDENTS: Call Senator Chris Van Hollen, 202-224-4654. Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE.

MONTANA RESIDENTS: Call Senator Jon Tester, 202-224-2644. Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE.

NEW MEXICO RESIDENTS: Call Senator Tom Udall, 202-224-6621. Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE.

OREGON RESIDENTS: Call Senator Jeff Merkley, 202-224-3753. Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE (Choose “share your opinion on bills or other issues”)

RHODE ISLAND RESIDENTS: Call Senator Jack Reed, 202-224-4642. Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE.

VERMONT RESIDENTS: Call Senator Patrick Leahy, 202-224-4242. Follow up by sending a personal message: CLICK HERE.

RESIDENTS OF ALL OTHER STATES: Call Subcommittee Chair Lisa Murkowski, 202-224-6665 and Ranking Member Tom Udall: 202-224-6621. Even though you are not a constituent, let them know that you are calling because our public lands and our wild horses and burros belong to all Americans, and all Americans should have a say in how they are managed

Remember: Please be polite and respectful in order to be the most effective voice possible for our wild horses and burros! Thank you!!

– The AWHC Team


Have You Called Congress Yet?


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Your Representatives in DC Will Decide Whether Thousands Will be Slaughtered

Tens of thousands of innocent, federally protected wild horses and burros are in danger of being killed or sold for slaughter if Congress approves the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2018 budget request. The BLM is asking Congress to lift the ban on destroying healthy mustangs and burros and selling those in holding facilities for slaughter. If Congress approves this request, the mass killing of the 46,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities and the 46,000 “excess” animals on the range would begin.

We can stop this, but only if your elected representatives in Washington, DC hear from you! Our wild horses and burros don’t have a voice, so we must speak up on their behalf to save them from a horrific fate… It only takes a minute – please take action below – today!


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Our biggest fear


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We knew this was coming, and now our worst fears have been realized.

Yesterday, the Trump Administration released its budget request to Congress for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and it literally places the lives of over 90,000 wild horses and burros in jeopardy.

The Administration is asking Congress to lift the ban on killing healthy wild horses and burros or selling them for slaughter. The BLM wants permission to destroy “unadoptable” horses and burros as well as those it considers to be “excess” on the range. If Congress approves this request, the mass killing of the 46,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities and the 46,000 “excess” animals on the range would begin.

We must make sure Congress stands firm against slaughtering our national icons!

This is going to be an intensive 4-6 month campaign to defeat this lethal budget proposal in Congress.

Right now, we need you to do these three things IMMEDIATELY!

1. Send a strong and unified message to Congress.

2. #JoinTheBand to send a tidal wave of public support for wild horses and burros on social media on May 30

3. Donate so that we can elevate our grassroots and legislative campaigns to the seismic level necessary to save our national icons!

The fight is on to save our wild horses and burros!  We’re ready, but we NEED your help. Let’s protect our wild horses and burros from this Administration’s lethal plans… Take action today!

In Freedom,

Suzanne Roy, Exectuive Director

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Efforts to Eliminate Soaring Continue


The following is from the American Horse Council:


Eliminating soring in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry has broad support in the horse industry and has been a priority of the American Horse Council (AHC) for the last several years.  The focus of these efforts for several years has been passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act or PAST Act in Congress. Additionally, last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) also began promulgating new regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), intended to strength regulations against soring.  President Trump’s government-wide freeze on all new federal regulations pending review has put an indefinite hold on these new HPA regulations.  Now many in the horse industry are wondering what is status of these efforts to eliminate soring.

“The AHC continues to be committed to ending soring in the walking horse industry and believes it will take federal action either by Congress or USDA to end this cruel practice,” said Julie  Broadway AHC president. “The ‘big lick’ segment of the walking horse industry has had over 45 years to address this issue and it remains a problem.”

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Immigration and the Horse Industry


The Following is from the American Horse Council:

It is no secret that many of the workers on the backstretch at race tracks, on breeding farms and at horse shows are foreign born. Horse industry employers have for many years found it difficult to recruit American workers to fill these jobs.  For this reason, American immigration policy has been a major concern of the horse industry and the American Horse Council has worked to ensure the H-2B non-agricultural and H-2A agricultural temporary foreign worker programs are a viable option for the industry. However, new pressures threaten the ability of the horse industry to hire these vital workers.

“The industry has had long-standing problems recruiting workers to fill jobs helping to raise, train, and care for the industry’s horses. This was the case even during the recent recession when unemployment reached 10%,” said AHC Sr. VP, Policy and Legislative Affairs, Ben Pendergrass. “Now that the economy has recovered and unemployment has fallen to around 4.7% finding workers has become especially challenging, this and other factors have made it more vital than ever for Congress to take action to improve the inadequate current guest worker programs.

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The UHC Welcomes Two New Members


The following is from the Unwanted Horse Coalition:

The UHC welcomes two new members, the Retired Racehorse Project and Palmetto Carriage Works. Each will be featured in future editions of the UHC Roundup. Member organizations help make programmatic decisions in the areas of education, programs, funding, and visibility.

For a full list of members, visit www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org/member-organizations/ or to inquire about UHC membership and programs, contact the UHC office at uhc@horsecouncil.org.

Click Here To Read on UHC

AHC Update: Legislation to Eliminate Soring Introduced in the House


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

On March 30, 2017, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) re- introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (HR 1847) (PAST act) in the House of Representatives.   The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and prevent the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses.  The bill is identical to the bill introduced last Congress and is supported by the American Horse Council and most national horse show organizations.

Soring is an abusive practice used by some to train Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. It usually involves the use of action devices, chemicals, pads, wedges or other practices to cause pain in the horse’s forelegs and produce an accentuated show gait for competition.  Despite the existence of a federal ban on soring for over forty years, this cruel practice continues in some segments of the walking horse industry.

The PAST act would amend the HPA to prohibit a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse, or a Spotted Saddle Horse from being shown, exhibited, or auctioned with an “action device,” or “a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band or other device or material” if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of the horse and is not strictly protective or therapeutic.  These new prohibitions would not apply to other breeds that do not have a history of soring.

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AHC Update: Equine Tax Bills Introduced


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

On March 30, 2017 Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) re-introduced the Race Horse Cost Recovery Act (H.R. 1804) and theEquine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 1805) . The Race Horse Cost Recovery Act would permanently place all race horses in the three-year category for tax depreciation purposes.  A 2008 provision that temporarily put race horses in the three year category expired at the end of 2016.  The Equine Tax Parity Act would make horses eligible for capital gains treatment after 12 months, rather than 24, similar to other business assets. The American Horse Council supports both of these bills.

Congressman Barr also introduced the Race Horse Expensing Certainty Act (H.R. 1806), the bill would provide extra clarity that racehorses are eligible for the Section 179 business expense deduction.  All horses purchased and placed in service by a business are currently eligible for the Section 179 deduction and the bill would not change this.

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AHC Update: AHC Comments on IRS Proposed Changes to Pari-Mutuel Wagering


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

Today, the AHC submitted comments in support of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed rule regarding withholding requirements on pari-mutuel winnings. The proposed rule would make changes to withholding requirements that more accurately reflect

the current state of wagering in the horse racing industry.  The rule, if made final, will be of great benefit to horse players and the racing industry.

Specifically, the proposed rule would define “amount of the wager” as the total amount wagered by a bettor into a specific pari-mutuel pool on a single ticket for purposes of determining whether wagering proceeds are subject to 25% withholding on winnings of $5,000 or more and are at least 300 times as large as the amount wagered. 

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American Wild Horse Campaign: The Helicopters Are Taking A Break– But We’re Not!


The following is an announcement from the American Wild Horse Campagin.

Dear Meredith,

I know that the video below of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) recent roundup in Utah will make you as angry as I am, and as committed to fighting for change.

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AHC Update: Registration Open for AHC Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

Registration is now open for the AHC’s 2017 Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum.  Registration information, along with a tentative schedule and link to make room reservations is available on the AHC website Events tab . New this year, the AHC is offering discounted registration for those who register before April 15th!

The theme of the National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health, will be “The Power of Unity,” and will feature keynote speaker Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association. The Issues Forum will feature two panels: a Research Panel and a Youth Panel.

The Research Panel will be moderated by Allyn Mann of Luitpold Animal Health and will feature researchers from AQHA, AAEP, Grayson Jockey, Horses & Humans, and Colorado State University. The panel will focus on why research is important to our industry, and some of the research they have recently completed that is transforming the industry.

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AHC Update: Executive Actions on Immigration and the Industry


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

Recently, President Trump issued several executive orders relating to increased immigration enforcement and border security. These actions will impact many employers, including those in the racing and showing segments of the horse industry, even those that rely on legal foreign workers.

For many years horse farms, horse shows, trainers and others have had difficulty recruiting American workers. This has forced many to rely on foreign workers and utilize both the H-2B non-agricultural and H-2A agricultural temporary foreign worker programs to meet their labor needs even though these programs are often extremely burdensome to use.  Additionally, many of the workers employed in the industry may lack legal status.

Most foreign workers in the industry are directly responsible for the care of the horses upon which the entire horse industry is dependent. Without these workers to raise, train, and care for the industry’s horses, many other jobs held by Americans not only in the horse industry, but also supported by the horse industry will be in jeopardy.

Generally speaking, increased enforcement, increased competition for legal workers and greater demand for H-2B and H-2A workers will make it more difficult for horse industry employers to fill many positions.

Click Here To Read the Article on AHC

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